Tessa Spanton SWA Artist, tutor, writer


Welcome to my blog.
This is where I write about some of the things that inspire my work,
news of exhibitions and works in progress

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Chihuli in London

CHIHULI 5th Dec - 31st March UPDATE now extended till 21st April
at the Halcyon Gallery 144-146, New Bond Street, London W1 2PF

I would like to give a big thank you to the Halcyon Gallery for giving me permission to photograph these beautiful works.

The Mille Fiori Garden fills a whole room and is 24ft long. It was made specially for this exhibition. The photo below really doesn't do it justice.
I came up the stairs and through the door (at the back of the photo) The lighting in the room was dimmer than in the previous space and the glass garden glowed with rich saturated colours.
The colours and reflections in the glass danced as I moved round it and the relationships of the colours and sculptural shapes changed.

There were Chihuli paintings too in this exhibition and this illuminated glass panel shown below.
There was also a video of him at work. Fire and sand and the huge energy of Chihuli and his team combine to create huge flowing masses of molten glass. Skillfully and creatively handled. Now no longer molten and hot I find they convey something of the energy from which they were wrought. The paintings too seem alive with energy and movement.

I glimpsed the piece below through a doorway and from a distance and was drawn in by the electric effect of the blue and orange. This one as many of the pieces is like mysterious underwater life.

Cranberry and clear chandelier with part of the quartz and gold chandelier showing beyond.

The beautiful Waterford wall sconces above the door create patterns and colours on the wall.

The gold and quartz chandelier below reaches from floor to ceiling and can be viewed from above as well as floor level as here. It is made from hundreds of glass made pieces assembled on a metal frame.

These were some of my favourites out of 57 works/groups/installations.
Do go if you can as there is so much to explore and discover.
The following video is from Halcyon's website

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Reid's Palace in Aquarelle Pencil

Reids Palace Maderia Aquarelle pencil (c) Tessa Spanton

I started writing this blog 2 years and I day ago. Last year I posted some paintings I had done of Reids Palace To see the post click here
I visited Madeira again last month and did some new paintings while I was there. I drew Reids again, this time from the other side as seen from the Cliff Bay hotel. I chose roughly the same time each day, around 11am, to make some sketches and a tonal study. I spent between 1/2 hour to an hour at a time. Much longer and the lighting had changed. It was sunny so the lighting of the building was good though some days so windy that my papers would have blown away if they hadn't been clipped down.
The image above was done with a blue aquarelle pencil and a little water, inspired by the Portuguese azulejos. Very convenient when working outside as all you need is one blue aquarelle pencil and a small brush that can be filled with water like a fountain pen.
When this was finished I started a watercolour of the same view. The building looks amazing, high up and rising up from the rocks where the sea is pounding below and looking like a pink confection against the backdrop of mountains.

This painting is not quite finished so I'll save it for another post.
I also had the opportunity to visit the gardens at Reids and that too will be for another post.